In 2013, a great tragedy befell the DC fandom. For in this year, Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series came to an end – only to be replaced with the grossly inferior Teen Titans Go! and Beware the Batman.
It was an end unforeseen by those familiar and new to the show’s diverse cast and universe. All of us, led astray by two of the worst cliffhangers ever broadcasted on Cartoon Network.
Well, fellow fans know where I’m coming from – and if you haven’t already started either series, what are you waiting for? Binging is the very thing to do in order to give at least one of these shows the conclusion it deserves.
As much as I’d love to see more of DC’s television series given new life, if I had to choose just ONE to receive said treatment, I’d pick Young Justice in a heartbeat. This show alongside the ongoing Steven Universe are the only western cartoons I actively followed week after week. It was a show that taught me how to be my best self, my own hero, and to never fear the qualities that make me, me. Cheesy, I know. Yet, Young Justice still manages to hold up as a more mature version of the original Teen Titans in which we partake in the danger, excitement, and mundane of the superhero lifestyle. On top of tension. Lots and lots of sexual tension.
While Teen Titans succeeded in balancing character development and slapstick, the main heroes always felt more like caricatures of teenagers than those of Young Justice. Aqualad, Kid Flash, Robin, Superboy, Miss Martian, and Artemis were presented as people struggling with their own weaknesses first and foremost. Even with an ever growing cast, the show managed to tell a coherent narrative with plenty of heart.
A few months ago, there was talk of reviving the show by streaming a third season via Netflix. There were also age-old rumors that Young Justice was cancelled in the first place due to not having sold enough products to its (COUGH, COUGH) female viewers. According to one of the original showrunners, Greg Wiesman, both are somewhat true. Due to the show’s budget being dictated by Mattel, its survival completely depended on how well its corresponding toy line did. One thing led to another, and the show abruptly ended with the conclusion of Blue Beetle’s arc – an arc that, albeit entertaining, left us with more questions than answers.
If you’d like to know what exactly The Light had in store at the end of Season 2, Weisman advises fans to binge the first two seasons on Netflix as well as buy Young Justice comics and toys so as to prove the show has an audience. For those on social media, be sure to keep #KeepBingingYJ and #BuyYJBluRaysDVDs trending. Remember: with every hashtag, we get closer and closer to having everyone’s favorite half-demon appear in the show.
A fangirl can dream, can’t she?
For those who’ve already seen the show, I recommend giving these standalone episodes another watch. Perhaps, it’ll serve as a pleasant reminder of what the superhero genre used to stand for:
“Welcome to Happy Harbor” (Season 1 – Episode 3)
“Homefront” (Season 1 – Episode 12)
“Revelation” (Season 1 – Episode 14)
“Failsafe” (Season 1 – Episode 16)
“Disordered” (Season 1 – Episode 17)
“Secrets” (Season 1 – 18)
“Usual Suspects” (Season 1 – 25)
“Auld Acquaintance” (Season 1 – 26)
“Beneath” (Season 2 – Episode 5)
“Runaways” (Season 2 – Episode 14)